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Dapat walang absent! DILG checks mayors’ presence in Eastern Visayas ahead of typhoon

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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has begun checking the attendance of mayors in Eastern Visayas on Tuesday to see if they are in their respective local government units as Tropical Depression Samuel moves closer to the region.

Assistant Secretary Marivel Sacendoncillo, concurrent DILG 8 (Eastern Visayas) director, said their office has activated its operations center to monitor the situation and to check if mayors are standing guard over local government units.

“How can mayors lead preparedness and ensure immediate government response if they are not around once the typhoon strikes? They should be in their respective areas as chairpersons of their respective local disaster risk reduction and management council (DRRMC),” Sacendoncillo told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

She said if the mayors are absent, they must explain this to the DILG, and if their absence is not justified, they will face sanctions.

DILG-8 has been regularly sending weather advisories to provincial and municipal DRRM offices to guide them in pre-disaster decision-making.

Sacendoncillo urged local officials to operationalize the DILG’s Oplan Listo, which seeks to strengthen LGUs’ preparedness using the whole government approach for disaster preparedness.

The program recommends three critical preparedness actions that local governments must take: Alpha for low-risk areas, Bravo for medium-risk areas, and Charlie for high-risk areas.

Upon receiving a storm alert, local governments must prepare their resources, supplies, equipment and relief goods needed 48 hours prior to landfall.

Local authorities also ensure the availability of standby equipment and deploy teams for security, medical, clearing, evacuation, relief distribution, and communication needs.

“There’s no substitute for being prepared for the worst-case scenario. The basis for our preparation is the safety of our people,” she added.

As of 1 p.m., the center of the tropical depression was spotted 260 km. east of Maasin City, Southern Leyte, or 185 km. east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. About 28 areas were placed under storm Signal No. 1 by the weather bureau.

The weather disturbance has maximum sustained winds of 55 km. per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 65 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 20 kph and is expected to make landfall at the Dinagat-Samar-Leyte area Tuesday night. (PNA)